February 18, 2016

The Afternoon Open Continues

Filed under: snookerbacker @ 8:23 am
TV Coverage after 8pm.

TV Coverage after 8pm.

Anyone who has been a regular visitor to this grubby little corner of the internet and who is even so bored that they follow my drivel on Twitter will know that I’m not exactly what could be described as a ‘Night Owl’.

Rather than burning the candle at both ends, I’m more of a don’t light it in the first place kind of chap. I like to get up early in the morning and usually like to go to bed early too. My philosophy is very much that this allows me to see the best of the day, not many people about first thing and far too many about when I am in bed. For someone who prefers the company of dogs to my fellow homo sapiens, with only a handful of notable exceptions, I figure this makes perfect sense.

So you’d think I’d be over the moon with the coverage of the Welsh Open. They turn on the cameras just after breakfast and turn them off just after it’s started to go dark, what could be better? Well, quite a lot could be better actually.

This (a reminder to World Snooker and the BBC) MAIN RANKING EVENT used to be a big deal. Now it’s one where as soon as BBC Wales decide to go off air, the camera operators go out on the town in Cardiff. Judd Trump, arguably the sport’s second biggest seat filler, was left to turn all the lights off last night following his victory over Alan McManus as the BBC decided that after Ronnie had won it was time to go out on the piss.

Even in PTC’s we can switch to Eurosport or a live stream to catch the remaining matches, but not here. The tired excuse is that of ‘Broadcasting Rights’, but if the broadcasters that own the broadcasting rights can’t be arsed to actually broadcast, do they deserve them in the first place? Short answer is no.

The BBC do a great job hosting The Masters and the World Championship, largely because they have only a maximum of two tables to cover at anyone time, but it seems that once this comfort blanket is removed they just lose the plot, scurry into a corner and pretend it’s not happening.

I’d rather we had a broadcaster, like ITV or Eurosport, who are prepared to stick with the matches live, or even, perish the thought, cover more than one or two tables as part of their coverage. Recently we sent some bloke up to a space station from which he sends down tweets, images and videos of his daily antics, yet we can’t even find enough cameras on this planet to cover a few snooker tables.

There is a serious point to all this in case you were wondering. How did Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White find out about snooker? Television, that’s how. If the BBC insist on making it only accessible mainly to pensioners and doleites we are growing ever more unlikely to uncover the future of the sport. Snooker has been very lucky to have torchbearers to carry it through the decades and it needs young blood coming through, something that for the first time in my lifetime doesn’t really seem to be happening in numbers.

Anyway, as long as Ethel from The Cotswolds and Tyson from Toxteth are able to watch in the afternoons and I get an early night at least some people are happy. But I do fear for the long term future of the sport if the main broadcaster continues to cater for these niche audiences, though with the Tories running the country we’re never going to be short of the jobless, just the elderly.

The match list for today is here and the live scores can be found here.

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